Quito, Ecuador – Four seasons in one day

Quito is thought to be populated since 12,000 years, and the Inca made it a powerful trading centre in the end of the 15th century. Before the Spaniards reached the city, an Inca general burnt Quito down – as a revenge for the last Inca king killed by the conquerors, and with foresight to the well-established thrust of the Spanish warriors. The colonists only found a destroyed city, but rebuilt it quickly. The city where it is situated today was founded on December 6th 1534. This is what Quito celebrates happily during this week with musicians, artists and fireworks.

The historic centre holds many churches and other clerical buildings, but government buildings and private palaces as well. Most of the colonial city is renovated and in excellent shape – despite the many earthquakes they had to stand. Like Calle La Ronda, the oldest street in Quito. Also Plaza Grande is surrounded by historic buildings. The bishop’s seat for instance houses a little mall with souvenir shops and restaurants in a beautiful covered inner courtyard. From the Plaza there is a good view to the Panecillo hill (a popular viewpoint with locals) and the aluminium statue of Virgen de Quito.

Quito has a reputation for two things: Its resourceful thieves that work with straight razors. Recommendations go so far not to show cameras evidently and to better wear backpacks in the front. The other claim is that Quito offers all four seasons in one day. And really, in the morning it is sunny and mild most of the time, and summerly warm with intense sunlight at midday. In the afternoon rain showers or violent thunderstorms set in regularly. At night temperatures drop below wintry 10° C / 50° F.

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